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The New Forest Pony Sales

Gerry Walden | New Forest National Park, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom


The New Forest in southern England is an area of outstanding natural covering 380 square kilometres of mixed heathland, pasture land and forest. It has been grazed by ponies since the Ice Age and residents have bred them as an income source. Now a recognised breed, the ponies are a great asset to the Forest, being both a major tourist attraction and a necessity for naturally cropping the undergrowth to encourage new growth and lessen the ever-present risk of fire.


Numbers of ponies have been dropping of late with many being sold at the regular auctions. In order to make it economic for commoners to keep the ponies grants from the European Commission have substantially improved the situation and numbers are again rising with the breed beginning to recover.

This has had a knock-on effect on the popular pony sales where numbers being auctioned have dropped by almost 50% leading to a possibility of this age-old tradition disappearing.

This project aims to capture the sales before yet another country lifestyle tradition dies out.


The famous American photographer Edward Steichen said “The mission of photography is to explain man to man and each to himself.” That surely must be the purpose behind the work of every documentary photographer, to makes us better to understand the world around us and to capture that world so that others may see it and understand it.

Whether it is on the battlefield or in our towns and cities, to document the world before it becomes another world is equally important. Photography will never change the world but it can take a very small part of the world and record it so that others can use the vision of the photographer for good.

Is the preservation of the life of a community at peace any less valuable than that of a community at war?


Cell: +44 (0)797 287 7932

Email: gwpics@me.com

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